New Year’s Marketing Resolutions
I’m a planner and a list-maker, so New Year’s Resolutions are an annual tradition for me. As new business owners this year, we are taking this opportunity to create a list of goals for 2012. This is also giving us the chance to sit down and identify our 5-year goals so we can make a long-term plan of where our business is heading.
Over the next month, we’ll be sharing some of our new goals with you, but in the meantime, I’d like to encourage you to set some New Year’s Marketing Resolutions for YOUR business.
I recommend starting by asking some simple questions:
What isn’t working?
What your vision of your business? (the “perfect world” ideal)
Your goals and resolutions need to fit YOUR business. If you want some help creating a comprehensive strategy for improving your business in 2012, please get in touch with us today. We offer an hour of free consulting for all new clients (no obligation & it does NOT have to be just about websites as our specialty is developing business strategies).
31 Business & Marketing Resolutions you may want to consider for 2012:
Test, Measure & Analyze
You can’t improve what you don’t measure!
Be more social
Don’t just have a bunch of social media profiles. Pick one and maximize it this year.
Improve your website
Whether it’s a new website, a redesign, or just updating your content – improve your website.
Optimize for your location
If your customers are local, then your marketing and business solutions need to be targeted locally.
Update your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts
Don’t just stick to what you’ve been doing in hopes that it will continue working. As Google and other search engines update their search engine algorithms, be sure you’re keeping up with what they’re looking for. And if you were cheating a few years ago, take the time to make it right this year before you get penalize for it (if you haven’t already).
Make sure your website works on mobile devices
If your site doesn’t function properly on mobile devices, you’re losing a big chunk of customers.
Incorporate video on your website
It’s really not that hard to do, really. In fact, our owner has a bachelors degree in video production. So I guess it’s time we add this one to our list of resolutions, too.
Be more responsive (and be quick about it)
Every email, phone call, text message, @tweet, Facebook comment, etc. deserves a speedy response. So get on it.
Increase your email list
How are people getting on your email list? Is there a better way to attract and maintain that list?
Write a “Best of” blog for your industry
Show everyone what an expert you are and share some of the “best of” topics in your industry. It can be the best providers for a service your customers typically need, the best tips from or for customers, the best customer moments of the past year, anything. People love reading articles that are the “best of” something. If you have an idea but aren’t comfortable writing, contact us, we have staff members with college degrees in writing and years of experience in writing for the web.
Create a newsletter
Use a 3rd party system (we actually have a pretty great one that we use), create a beautiful design for your newsletter, set up a schedule and stick to it.
Use screencasts for how-to videos of computer/online tasks
Screencasts are a great way to show your customers how to do something on their computer as they get to visually see where your mouse goes, what to click, and what to do. These are pretty easy to create and add a lot of value to your instructive blog articles.
Evaluate your website’s navigation
Does it make sense? Is it logical? Is it easy? As you add more content each year, it’s a good idea to evaluate your website’s navigation to see if it’s time for a “menu facelift” to help your website visitors get around more easily.
Find out what your competitors don’t like to do – AND DO IT
A pretty fast way to get an edge on your competition is to discover what they don’t like to do (or aren’t doing…or aren’t doing well), and do it. And do it awesomely. What are they neglecting or overlooking? Create a list and pick one to get started on (it might be something on this list of resolutions).
Give your customers more than they expect
One key to providing exceptional customer service is to communicate very clear expectations, so your customers know exactly what to expect. And then give them something more. It’s a really easy way to please and impress your customers so they keep coming back (and will send their friends your way, too!).
Develop a strong key word strategy (and climb the ranks in Google)
When customers are looking for something specific, they’ll be using a search engine to find the answer. Identifying the key search words and phrases your potential customers will be looking for is critically in getting them to find you.
Build more inbound links to your website
Quality inbound links are important to search engine rankings, and the best way to get those links is to create a lot of great content that others will want to link to. Don’t try cheating by hiring someone to get a bunch of inbound links. Some of those methods are “illegal” in Google-land and get you knocked out of the search engine world completely. So do it right.
Write more educational blog posts
Your an expert. Your staff are experts. Take this year to get everyone involved in adding to your blog. It’s a great way to educate your clients and get more quality inbound links (see above).
Add a “Call to Action” to pages & posts
What do you want your website visitors to do? Get them to do it by calling them to action with a powerful, eye-catching “Call to Action” – like a big button, easy-to-complete form, or specific link.
Utilize and optimize landing pages to convert browsers to buyers
Landing pages are pages with focus. They are simple, clear and quickly get visitors to complete your call to action.
Use A/B testing to optimize your landing pages & email marketing
There is always something to improve. Make every effort better each time you do something so that your business will continue to grow!
Understand your customer conversion funnel
Before you can improve something, you have to truly understand it. What does your customer conversion funnel look like? Take the time to experience your business from your customer’s perspective and experience so you can understand what the funnel is to buying your product and service. Once you understand the funnel, you’ll begin to see where the holes are and you can make improvements to your processes to help those customers make it to the final buying conversion.
Create & enforce a social media policy
Set clear expectations for your company on when, what, and how they can use social media. Make it clear and move forward together.
Integrate all of your marketing efforts
It’s vital that you move forward together as a company, in the same direction. Everyone has to be working from the same plan, so to make sure your marketing efforts are integrating (to avoid contradictions, redundancy, or off-target tactics), create a clear marketing plan with specific marketing strategies (with measurements & owners).
Update your Google Maps/Places and encourage your customers to write positive reviews about your company. It’s easy to get positive reviews when you provide great customer service. Note: you can currently only be listed on Google Maps/Places if you have a physical storefront.
Start guest blogging
Your an expert in your field. Write a great blog post and ask other popular bloggers in your industry if they will share it with their readers.
There are lots of free networking groups out there. Join one. Attend. Add value to the members and provide great referrals to others. In-person networking can be a valuable tool, especially in the digital age (this may be one of those items that your competition just doesn’t like doing).
Stay current with online marketing changes
Don’t get swept away by the many trends that come and go, but dedicate some time each month to read up on the latest changes so you can be informed. A lot of our clients really don’t have time for this, and that’s ok. Our job is to stay abreast with changing marketing strategies. If you work with us, we keep you current while you focus on your job.
Create a mission statement for your blog
What are trying to accomplish with your blog? Create a mission statement, share it, and work on sticking to it so that all of your blogging efforts are aligned with your overall mission.
Attend a trade show
Yes, trade shows can be expensive. But if this is something your competitors have cut out in lieu of all online marketing efforts, this is a great opportunity for you to sneak in and snatch some new clients. But don’t just attend a trade show. Plan for it, prepare, and create some beautiful graphics to impress and grab your potential customers.
Host a seminar
Online education is great, but sometimes customers need a hands-on demonstration. So invite your current and prospective customers to a seminar where you can share some valuable information to improve their lives (business and personal).
Have questions? Not sure what some of these even mean?